In April 2009 a small group of Christians in Ellesmere Port gathered to think about ways to tackle social exclusion in the town, particularly issues of exclusion affecting young people.
Within a month ‘Port Reach’, the Ellesmere Port branch of Worth Unlimited, had come into existence.
We are taking our time, building relationships with churches and organisations already working in Ellesmere Port, and finding out in what ways we can help or add to the provision already in existence for young people.
Footsteps to the Future
Although we have a special concern for young people we are interested in building community for all people. To this end we are working with Trinity Methodist Church in Ellesmere Port to deliver community development hand in hand with their ‘Footsteps to the Future’ building project.
The Footsteps to the Future project is the reconfiguration of their traditional church building into a modern worship and community space. There will be a community café, an improved crèche, an active aging centre for older people, a community kitchen and a multi-purpose worship and community arts area.
This year, 2011, we are developing mentoring as a core offer to the town of Ellesmere Port. We are working in partnership with Green Button Motivational Training (http://www.greenbuttontraining.co.uk) to provide training courses for individuals wishing to become mentors. Once trained, the mentors can use their skills through any of the Port Reach Mentoring Projects:
- Mum to Mum – in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, Port Reach is piloting a mentoring service for young mums, under the age of 24.
- That Reading Thing – a literacy programme for people who ‘don’t do education’. Port Reach are part of the National evaluation of That Reading Thing.
- Worth It! – a combination of mentoring and ‘World Worth Living In’ programme due to run summer 2011, funded by ‘Fair Shares Lottery Funding’.
We are starting small but with passion and commitment we hope that this is only the beginning of a story that will grow and grow.